Target Corp. has altered its policy on
political contributions after a controversial anti-gay donation
sparked a boycott of the retail giant.
Jessica Carlson, spokesperson for
Target, told gay weekly the Washington Blade that the
Minnesota-based company had enacted the changes within the last
The new guidelines say the company will
provide financial support “in a nonpartisan manner based strictly
on issues that directly affect our business priorities.”
A committee of senior executives will
oversee donations and decide whether to support individual
candidates, parties or political action committees. The company will
report on its website corporate contributions of more than $5,000.
Some companies post contributions as low as $100.
“These changes are really reflective
of that perspective that we gained over the 2010 election cycle,”
Carlson told the paper.
Target found itself the target of a
boycott last year after it was disclosed that the company had given
$150,000 to MN Forward, an independent political fund supporting Tom
Emmer, the anti-gay Republican nominee who lost his bid to become
Minnesota's next governor. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologized
for the contribution, but rejected a request from the Human Rights
Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, to give an
equal amount of money to a pro-gay candidate.
Progressive group MoveOn.org launched a
campaign urging shoppers to boycott the chain. The group chided
Target for “meddling in our democracy” and refusing to
“acknowledge its customers' outrage.” MoveOn.org said corporate
money in elections amounted to “political bribery.”